Though Jermain Taylor really did look like he was in great shape and he fought an OK fight for portions of his bout in Berlin with Arthur Abraham, the script held up. Taylor started strong, with Abraham starting slow as usual, but Abraham took over the fight in the middle rounds, and in the 12th, one on-the-button right hand turned Taylor's lights out, giving Abraham three points with a knockout win in the opening bout of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
Abraham (31-0, 25 KO) scored a KO of the Year contender with a right hand that wasn't exactly massive, but was dead on the money and put Taylor on the canvas for the count. Taylor seemed to be trying to get up on instinct, but he had no chance. He was finished.
Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KO) fought the 12th round with no urgency, which was disappointing considering he was in a close fight at best. I actually had it pretty wide for Abraham as Taylor barely landed any significant punches during the entire fight. Abraham's defense was as excellent as usual, and when he did throw, he was just better and stronger than Taylor.
We'll have more on the fight in the coming days, but right now you have to wonder if Taylor isn't just plain done. His punch resistance may be fading dramatically, as he's now been stopped hard three times in his last five fights, four of which he's lost. He's 3-4-1 in his last seven and has faded drastically as a star. At this point, you'd even be forgiven for not considering him much of a legit contender.
Taylor will fight Andre Ward in stage two, and Mikkel Kessler in stage three. Can he really win either fight? I don't see it. But at the least, he'll get good paydays. At 31, he may well be at the end of a career that at one point seemed to have him shooting up to be the new face of American boxing, but is now in a shambles.
The Carl Froch-Andre Dirrell fight is going to start in the next few moments. We'll have live coverage and round-by-round scoring in the comments of the post just below this one.